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Institutional isomorphism and sustainable HRM adoption: a conceptual framework

Alex Anlesinya (Department of Organization and Human Resource Management, University of Ghana Business School, Legon, Ghana)
Kwesi Amponsah-Tawiah (Department of Organization and Human Resource Management, University of Ghana Business School, Legon, Ghana)
Kwasi Dartey-Baah (Department of Organization and Human Resource Management, University of Ghana Business School, Legon, Ghana)
Sampson Kudjo Adeti (Department of Organization and Human Resource Management, University of Ghana Business School, Legon, Ghana)
Adwoa Benewaa Brefo-Manuh (Faculty of Business and Management Studies, Kumasi Technical University, Kumasi, Ghana)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 23 August 2022

Issue publication date: 2 January 2023

252

Abstract

Purpose

There is a major lacuna in sustainable human resource management (HRM) research regarding the theoretical context of its adoption or implementation. Consequently, the purpose of this study is to examine the relative influence and interactive effects of different levels of institutional isomorphisms on sustainable HRM adoption.

Design/methodology/approach

This study applies the conceptual method and anchors the discussions on the institutional theory and the extant literature on the antecedents of sustainable HRM implementation.

Findings

Internal and external institutional isomorphisms will have complementary (synergies) or substitution (trade-offs) effects on sustainable HRM adoption. Furthermore, external institutional isomorphic pressures related to societal values and culture and stakeholders’ sustainability demands are likely to have greater influence on sustainable HRM implementation relative to the internal institutional isomorphic pressures related to managerial sustainability values and attitudes; sustainability-related HRM competencies; resource availability; and perceived sustainability benefits.

Originality/value

This study proposes a novel multi-level conceptual model on the implementation context of sustainable HRM for testing empirically. Furthermore, this study generates insight on how different levels of institutional isomorphic pressures relatively and interactively (synergies versus trade-offs) affect sustainable HRM adoption. This is significant because there is a view that HRM as a discipline is theoretically weak. Although the field has advanced theoretically, one of the areas that need more theorisation is the context of HRM. Hence, this study advances the theoretical context of sustainable HRM implementation through the perspectives of the institutional theory.

Keywords

Citation

Anlesinya, A., Amponsah-Tawiah, K., Dartey-Baah, K., Adeti, S.K. and Brefo-Manuh, A.B. (2023), "Institutional isomorphism and sustainable HRM adoption: a conceptual framework", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 55 No. 1, pp. 62-76. https://doi.org/10.1108/ICT-03-2021-0013

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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